Resurrecting the Formers
Another week gone and that means another update! It's been pretty eventful in a number of ways. Some just plain miraculous, others mysterious. Our teaching pool has been growing steadily as we've been able to re contact some former investigators. More to that in a bit but for now I'll tell you about some other cool experiences.
My testimony of the Book of Mormon took a leap in a rather unexpected way on Thursday night. We knocked on a door to this old green house and a lady answered who we had talked to before downtown. She was a peculiar woman. First she seemed glad to see us again when she answered the door but then seemed afraid when we started talking about the gospel. She went on to say that she had been fighting with her boyfriend and sensed that there was "something wrong" with the house. That something evil was in there. We told her about the Book of Mormon and said that it could help her. She didn't want to because she figured that reading it would cause her too much confusion with her religion. Then Elder Burns promised her that if she at least took the book and carried it around with her in the house, the spirit would have no power over her and she would feel peace and comfort within the home. She took the book and clasped it against her chest standing nervously outside the doorway. Then she walked in... a couple of seconds passed until she came out again and claimed that Elder Burns' idea had worked! She asked if we could come by the next day.
I came back with Elder Olson on an exchange but sadly, the visit didn't go too well. She constantly interrupted us and by the end of it, the two of us wondered if she was possessed or unaccountable. Though in the end we couldn't help her further, what I witnessed the night before strengthened my personal testimony that the there truly is great power within the Book of Mormon, even as a physical object.
Sometime earlier in the month we received a phone call from a less active member named James who recently moved into the Nanaimo area. He said he was up for coming back to the church. Unfortunately, we totally forgot to call back and set a time to meet. Then We got a call from him on Friday and we were able to get together with him on Saturday. He told us that he couldn't go to church this week, but the next.
Just prior to seeing James, we went to the nearby reserve to see how Mel was doing. This time we decided to try and teach him the restoration in a way that he would enjoy. He would occasionally add a thought or two of his own, but we continued to teach it without as much trouble as with the previous times we taught him. He seems to understand that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was not part of "White Christianity" in referring to the thing that scattered his people. He finally came to church on Sunday as well and though he had a hard time staying awake in parts of Sunday School, he really enjoyed it.
And now to return to the resurrection of the formers. Saturday night we popped by Tanya's house and lo and behold, she was home! :) Unfortunately we couldn't stay long due to an appointment (which sadly fell through) but she agreed to let us come back in an hour. With the appointment not going through we tracted on a remote dirt road called "Rugg" which was as rough as the name sounds. There were a lot of "no trespassing" signs all over a number of the properties. This place was quite literally in the middle of nowhere On this road, we met a guy named Paul who is a pretty interesting fellow. He has studied the art of Ti-Gitzu over the years and loves Japanese culture. Did I mention he loves to talk?? He told us that we could come back the following Saturday.
We got back to Tanya's place and Brother M came out with us. It was more of a chat/update rather then a lesson though we shared a quick scripture with her. I also asked her if in the time she was away she had thought more about getting baptized. She told us that she hadn't really with so much going on, but she said that she was still interested once things settled down with her and her family situations. There's just a lot on her plate right now but she said that she would prefer getting baptized this fall.
Then perhaps came the greatest miracle of all came yesterday night... Elder Burns and I ended up losing our gas card at the beginning of the week so we had to walk, and walk... and walk due to our low fuel. We talked to plenty of people in that time but we didn't seem to find much success otherwise. We walked all over town and we were so tired that we had to stop at a members house for a breather and to ask if they could refill our water bottles.
Then we decided to go down to Gillespie Road to visit Clara's family. Some of you may have remembered me mention her a couple time over the course of my mission. Shes Native and lives with her mom and boyfriend along with a couple kids. We hadn't talked to them since the beginning of last transfer. It was late that night and the old houses along the street in the darkness created a bit of an eerie atmosphere. Those who know Nanaimo well know that Gillespie Street isn't exactly the most comfortable place to be at night. Tired and sore, we knocked on the last house on the left hand side of the street I had been to many times... This time Clara's mother answered. She greeted us with a smile and we had a lengthy conversation. Apparently in the times between our visits, the Jehovah Witnesses had talked to her. She told them that she was opened to being taught, but said that she had been waiting for these "two young men from another church to come back and teach her first..." We couldn't believe it. We felt really happy, but also really bad! She told us that we could call to set an appointment the next day and she would make sure that Clara was there. Turns out she also knows the Marshall family who lives nearby! Can you say miracles? :D
Bruce and Kevin are doing alright. Bruce's date had to move to September 20th. Not sure what to do with Kevin quite yet as we have taught him everything required before baptism. He's still struggling with the word of wisdom but he says that he wants to come up with ways to live it. Well that's this week's update. Can't believe that there's only two weeks left before transfers. It almost feels like I'm waiting for the bomb to be dropped or not with being here for so long! Guess we'll just have to see what happens. Till next week,
Elder Maclean Samis